Learn how to protect birds by reducing your plastic use
Conservation Calendar
World Migratory Bird Day celebrates Protect Birds: Be The Solution To Plastic Pollution and the actions you can take to help birds, 365 days of the year.
#52 Learn the Science of Plastics


World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2019

Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution

Conservation Theme

The accumulation of plastic and plastic pollution have become a worldwide epidemic and a primary threat to birds across the globe. An estimated 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced since its introduction in the 1950s.  91% of plastic is not recycled, but rather discarded as waste, accumulating in landfills and the natural environment.  That is why the 2019 conservation theme is, “Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution.”


Art has been central to International Migratory Bird Day and will continue to be a key element in 2019. The 12 focal bird species selected for World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2019 represent diverse groups of birds, the habitats they use, and their foraging behaviors. Despite their differences, each of these birds and their habitats have been impacted by plastic pollution. View the WMBD 2019 Art. 


Each year, the WMBD advisory committee selects an artist to illustrate the annual conservation theme. This year Arnaldo Toledo Sotolongo, from Santa Clara, Cuba created the World Migratory Bird Day 2019 Art. Arnaldo has had a passion for wildlife art the majority of his life and is excited to create the WMBD art this year!  Read about the WMBD 2019 Artist.

Social Media Packet

Promoting your World Migratory Bird Day event can be a daunting task, so we created a Social Media Packet that provides easy copy-and-paste posts that you can use on your social media accounts.

Access the Social Media Packet.

WMBD Resources

Media Toolkits
Social Media Infographics
Climate Change Activities
Powerpoint Presentations
Coloring Pages

Download activities, coloring pages, presentations, event flyers, banners, posters, and more for your event or program.

Download Resources







Migratory Species

Events from the Americas Flyway



  • What is it?

    In 1993, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center created International Migratory Bird Day. This educational campaign focused on the Western Hemisphere and celebrated its 25th year in 2018. Since 2007, IMBD has been coordinated by Environment for the Americas (EFTA), a non-profit organization that strives to connect people to bird conservation.

    In 2018, EFTA joined the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) to create a single, global bird conservation education campaign, World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD). Continuing our tradition with IMBD, WMBC celebrates and brings attention to one of the most important and spectacular events in the Americas – bird migration.

    EFTA will continue to coordinate events, programs, and activities in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean at protected areas, refuges, parks, museums, schools, zoos, and more. As many as 700 events and programs are hosted annually to introduce the public to migratory birds and ways to conserve them.

  • When is it?

    WMBD officially takes place the second Saturday in May for the U.S. and Canada, and in October for Mexico, Central/South America, and the Caribbean. But we recognize this date doesn’t work well for all bird events, bird festival organizers, or for migratory birds themselves. Birds don’t migrate on the same day. We remedied this problem by removing the month and day from our bird education and festival materials, leaving only the year.

    Now, every day is Bird Day and WMBD is celebrated year-round!

  • History

    International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) was created in 1993 by visionaries at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. From 1995 to 2006, the program was under the direction of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Because of its consistent growth, these organizations sought a new home for the program. In 2007, IMBD found its “forever home” at Environment for the Americas (EFTA), a non-profit organization that connects people to bird conservation through education and research.

    Over the years, EFTA has made changes and improvements to International Migratory Bird Day. We developed the concept of a single conservation theme to help highlight one topic that is important to migratory bird conservation. Over the years, these educational campaigns have been integrated into numerous programs and events, focusing on topics including the habitats birds need to survive, birds and the ecosystem services they provide, the impacts of climate change on birds, and the laws, acts, and conventions that protect birds, such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Convention on Biodiversity.

    We also removed a specific date from the event. Once celebrated only on the second Saturday in May, we recognize that migratory birds leave and arrive at breeding and non-breeding states at different times, depending on many factors. They also stop at different sites across the Western Hemisphere to rest and refuel, providing opportunities to engage the public in learning about birds and their conservation. Today, we maintain traditional event dates on the second Saturday in May and the second Saturday in October, while encouraging organizations and groups to host their activities when migratory birds are present.


World Migratory Bird Day is made possible by its sponsors. Their contributions enable the development and distribution of education materials, regular outreach to host organizations, and collaboration with new partners. Their support has resulted in year-round programming, ensuring that Every Day is Bird Day!

Many thanks to the following sponsors.

Title Sponsors
Program Sponsors
Regional Partners



Miguel Matta

In addition to working with EFTA, Miguel is a Biology student at the Universidad Central de Venezuela studying the birds of Portachuelo. His interest in ornithology started when he was 15 and led him to become part of the Venezuela’s Phelps Ornithological Collection. Through his coordination of WMBD, he hopes to motivate, connect and promote bird conservation across Latin America.

United States

Molly Tobin

As a Boulder native, Molly spent much of her childhood outdoors and developed a passion for wildlife at an early age. After graduating from the University of Colorado, she worked more than five years at a local wildlife rehabilitation center. Molly believes that through education, awareness and connection, progress will be made in the protection of the natural world.


Sheylda Díaz-Mendez

Sheylda has worked with International Migratory Bird Day and will now serve as the Caribbean Coordinator of World Migratory Bird Day. She isn’t new to coordination and was the Caribbean Coordinator in 2014. She also coordinated the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival for BirdsCaribbean.


Guido Berguido

Guido Berguido, the founder of Adopta Panama Rainforest, has had a passion for conservation for many years. In an effort to conserve natural forests he purchased land, Cerro Chucanti, back in 2003. Since then over 20 new species have been discovered there. World Migratory Bird Day is happy to be partnering with Association Adopta el Bosque Panama! 


Daniela Souza

Since she was young, Daniela has embraced her love for birds, animals and nature. She dreamed of becoming a veterinarian when she grew up, hoping to contribute to the wellbeing of the local birds and animals. Daniela’s passion for birds eventually led her to collaborate with the PAU: Programa de Aves Urbanas directed by the National Commission for the Knowledge and Use of Biodiversity (CONABIO) in Mexico.


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